TikTok has quickly become a hub for younger users to seek news and information. A study published by the Reuters Institute found that users ages 18-24 turn the most to this platform for current events, followed by users 25-34. These new trends pressure news publishers to understand and be present on TikTok. The problem? TikTok is becoming crowded, and your tricks for standing out on other platforms won’t work.
TikTok has over 1.6 billion users, and 150 million are just in the United States. This space differs from other social media platforms because audiences aren’t necessarily seeking mainstream news outlets and journalists. Internet personalities are the ones who rule this space, and TikTok users want to know what they think.
However, with growing news-seeking users, publishers can’t ignore the potential growth of brands on TikTok. There are many thoughts on finding an audience, and many mainstream networks have succeeded with a bit of tweaking of their content. In this article, we’ll share some of the TikTok best practices for publishers to help you stand out on this unique platform.
TikTok best practices for publishers
The more crowded a platform gets, the harder it is to break through. But with TikTok offering a new market of readers to tap into, it’s worth the effort. Your audience isn’t stagnant. Therefore, you want to continue expanding through social platforms for long-term growth.
Before you do anything else on TikTok, publishers should establish a firm POV and a content strategy.
The most successful TikTok accounts express a clear direction and stay true to their brand’s mission. Going viral can be cool, but that’s typically not what publishers should aim for on TikTok. Establishing a firm POV is essential to growing and maintaining a loyal audience. You want your followers to know who you are and what they can expect, which is hard if you’re chasing trends.
Developing a content strategy specifically for TikTok will help your team stay true to your POV, style, and schedule. Not only will this keep a consistent flow of content to your account, but it will make sure the flow is stocked with the right content. TikTok loves consistency, yet getting millions of likes on one video and only a few thousand on another is not uncommon. Concentrate your content strategy on your specific brand and use techniques tailored to your TikTok-specific audience. We’ll get into what that looks like a bit more later.
Other TikTok best practices for publishers
Now, it’s on to the tips and tricks that will help publishers stand out to their audience on TikTok. Remember: TikTok is not like Facebook, Instagram, or X. This is a video-based platform with trigger-happy scrollers. Your presence here needs to catch the quick attention of everyday users and internet personalities to promote your content. Here’s how to get started.
This is not specific to publishers but is essential nonetheless. Your videos have to be good quality to break through the TikTok barrier. Ensure your videos are clear, sharp, have good lighting, and relevant to your brand. Each post should be formatted correctly for TikTok to avoid any mishaps in publishing.
TikTok now has a 2,200 character limit, a significant shift from the previous 300 characters. This doesn’t mean you are required fill up the entire box just because you can! Remember, part of crafting compelling content on social media is providing value to what you post.
After watching your video, give your reader a reason to scroll through the copy. If you need a longer caption, make it worth it. Also, avoid asking for engagement in your post. Typing “comment below,” “what do you think,” or “like for more” were key phrases on social media in the beginning. Now, the best quality copy inspires engagement, not requests.
You can try to read your audience’s mind, but the best way to figure out what they want is to put stuff out there first. The more you post and create, the more you will learn. However, don’t sacrifice quality for quantity. Posting frequent but mediocre posts to fill your feed won’t get you the data you need. Put your best effort into every post you create and only produce at a volume your brand has the resources to manage consistently.
TikTok doesn’t like when you repurpose other users’ content as your own. In fact, at one point, they specifically told people not to do it. However, to help users connect with and support other accounts, TikTok did make a repost feature for videos you like. Don’t go crazy with that button! Be aware that people can see which videos you repost. Anything you repost should align with your POV, industry, and brand values.
Don’t get us wrong, TikTok trends are fun. But not every brand will be able to pull off every trend, and you shouldn’t try if you want to reach your desired audience. Research trends before you make content to see if it makes sense to add to your content strategy and connect with your audience. Don’t force something that isn’t natural, and avoid trends your team lacks the bandwidth to do correctly.
Know device limitations
If multiple people on your social media team post to TikTok, that’s great. One important thing to consider is how you manage drafts. When you create a draft in TikTok, it is saved in the device—NOT in the account. This means that if you plan on having someone upload the draft, nobody else can log in and hit publish.
Additionally, all your drafts will be deleted if you delete the app. They can’t be recovered.
Despite what other articles may report, there’s no universal publishing time. The best TikTok practices for publishers for posting will depend on your unique audience. Social media analytics will show you when your audience is most active. The best chance to reach them is to post before their peak availability. For instance, if your audience is on the most at 8 p.m., you want to try and get your content up around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. to ensure it’s up and running before they hop on. You can find data on your TikTok analytics once your account has gathered information from your posts.
We know they’re not the most fun part of social media, but hashtags are essential on TikTok. Hashtags are like little direct passageways that help your audience find your account. You want to use a mix of trending and niche-specific hashtags relevant to your post, about 3-5 per video.
Niche-specific hashtags have a lower performance ceiling but a higher chance of getting performance traction than broad hashtags. Well-chosen niche hashtags can help increase engagement and discoverability. Stay away from hashtags such as #fyp for #foryourpage. These will most likely lead to poor performance and bad optics instead of gaining more followers from your specific audience.
This is an important step a lot of brands might miss. If you’re on TikTok, you should be doing community management at least once daily, even if you haven’t posted a new video that day. Ghost posting doesn’t fly on this platform. Someone on your team should be answering user questions, liking positive comments, and pinning favorite comments. These interactions should be thoughtful and avoid using repetitive responses.
Appropriate platform features
What we mean by this: Don’t overdo it. TikTok loves it when you use its features, but adding unnecessary noise to your post doesn’t add to the user experience. Best practices for publishers using TikTok features include only choosing those that enhance content and make sense. Even if it’s only one, it’s better to maintain the quality of your video than to try and please the algorithm.
Avoid copying direct content you use on other platforms to repurpose on TikTok. Your content on Instagram or X won’t carry over the same to TikTok in format or voice. When you’re creating content, try to consider what the TikTok angle of this story may be. How can you present the same information in a way that users on this platform are more likely to engage with? This may be as simple as filming the process of creating content for other sites. TikTokers love authenticity and behind-the-scenes.
You should view your TikTok as less of a brand and more of a brand “personified.” Again, internet personalities drive the most traffic on this platform because their accounts are purely personal. Utilize storytelling tactics in your videos: a beginning, middle, and end to each video. It doesn’t matter how short your video is. Story arcs on TikTok get the most traction and keep users engaged the longest.
TikTok help from True Anthem
We covered a lot of TikTok best practices for publishers, and honestly, this is just the tip of the iceberg. While there’s value in building a strategy around publishing on TikTok, the number of steps can be a little overwhelming. This is where True Anthem can help make things a bit easier by enhancing your social media strategy through automation.
Analytics, scheduling, discovering your audience, and hand-picking your best-performing content to repurpose are all steps that True Anthem’s AI social media management tool can wrangle for you. TikTok is a creative outlet that requires thought and time to be creative. Let us help free up your team to do what they do best.
For more TikTok best practices, here’s our TikTok strategy guide.